Trial Judge Restricts Trump's Threats, Warns Of 'Speedy Trial'
The federal judge in charge of Donald Trump’s trial over his efforts to overturn the presidential election he lost agreed to both U.S. Dept. of Justice prosecutors’ requests and the ex-president’s legal team’s requests in determining the bounds of a protective order to be imposed on the indicted defendant.
“Mr. Trump, like every American, has a First Amendment right to free speech, but that right is not absolute. In a criminal case such as this one, the defendant’s free speech is subject to the rules,” U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan said, as CNN reports. “Without a protective order, a party could release information that could taint the jury pool, intimidate witnesses or others involved in some aspect of the case, or otherwise interfere with the ‘process of justice.'”
“The existence of a political campaign is not going to have any bearing on my decision,” Judge Chutkan told attorneys for both sides, NBC News reports. “I intend to keep politics out of this.”
MSNBC executive producer Kyle Griffin, citing NBC News adds: “Judge Chutkan says Trump has free speech rights, but his campaign will have to ‘yield to the orderly administration of justice.'”
“If that means that he can’t say exactly what he wants to say about people who may be witnesses in this case, that’s how it’s going to have to be,” Griffin/NBC News report the judge said.
“The defendant’s desire to conduct a campaign, to respond to political opponents, has to yield,” Chutkan also said, according to CNN.
CNN legal analyst and former U.S. Ambassador Norm Eisen declared: “Single most important moment in the hearing on the Trump protective order so far: Chutkan says she ‘cannot & will not factor’ into her decision the effect on political campaigns for either side.”
He adds, “If she applies that rule to the scheduling order we are going to trial in Jan. 2024.”
MSNBC on-air reports Judge Chutkan has ruled that the “protective order will only apply to sensitive materials and not to all discovery in this case.”
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Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
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